LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers have set their 26-man roster for Wednesday’s National League Wild Card Game against the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium.
We already know Max Scherzer will be the team’s starter. But let’s take a look at how the rest of the 26-man roster shapes out. The winner will take on the Giants in the NL Division Series beginning on Friday.
Austin Barnes: Barnes is the better defensive catcher and Scherzer has enjoyed working with him since joining the Dodgers at the Trade Deadline. Barnes hit .215 with six homers this season.
Will Smith: Of the two catchers on the roster, Smith is the much better offensive option. Smith is one of the best hitting catchers in baseball, hitting 25 homers in his first full season in the Majors. The Dodgers will need his bat to advance.
Matt Beaty, 1B/OF: With Max Muncy sidelined with an injury, Beaty could be an option at first base for the Dodgers. Beaty hit .270 with seven homers during the regular season. Most of his playing time came as a pinch-hitter.
Zach McKinstry, UTIL: McKinstry was one of the hottest rookies in April, but the utility man has played in just two games with the Dodgers since July 31. He serves as another bench option.
Albert Pujols, 1B: Pujols did most of his work against left-handed pitching this season. He could get a start at first base, or he could come in late as a pinch-hitter against a tough lefty.
Corey Seager, SS: Seager was named both the NL Championship Series and World Series MVP last season. The Dodgers hope for similar production this year from their star shortstop.
Chris Taylor, UTIL: Taylor made his first All-Star appearance this season, but he has struggled at the plate over the past few months, batting .187 since the start of August.
Justin Turner, 3B: It’s the postseason, meaning Turner will be ready to go. His 27 homers this year tied a career high.
Trea Turner, 2B: Turner won the batting title (.328 average) and is currently riding a career-high 19-game hitting streak. He’ll likely hit third in the Dodgers’ lineup.
Cody Bellinger, OF/1B: Bellinger gives the Dodgers an elite defender in center field, but Los Angeles could use him at first base, if needed. The former NL MVP posted a career-low .165 batting average this season.
Mookie Betts, OF: Betts appears to be past a hip injury that sidelined him for a couple of weeks in July and August. He’ll be the Dodgers’ leadoff hitter.
Gavin Lux, OF: Lux has found a new home in the outfield since returning from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sept. 10. He has produced at the plate during that time, batting .360 since his return. Lux missed four games with neck soreness, but he made his return during the regular-season finale on Sunday.
Billy McKinney, OF: McKinney gives the Dodgers another left-handed-hitting option off the bench. The veteran outfielder hasn’t played in the Majors since Sept. 9, as he dealt with a left hip impingement. He did play in four rehab games with Triple-A OKC.
AJ Pollock, OF: Pollock isn’t fully healed from a right hamstring injury that landed him on the IL last month, but that hasn’t stopped his elite production at the plate. He set a career high with a .892 OPS this season.
Luke Raley, OF: Raley gives the Dodgers another left-handed-hitting option off the bench against a righty-heavy Cardinals bullpen. He hit two homers in 66 at-bats this season.
Steven Souza Jr., OF: Souza gives the Dodgers another veteran right-handed option off the bench. He hit .152 with one homer in 33 at-bats this season.
Phil Bickford, RHP: Bickford was claimed off waivers from the Brewers, and he has turned into one of the Dodgers’ most reliable relievers. He posted a 2.50 ERA in 56 appearances with Los Angeles.
Tony Gonsolin, RHP: Gonsolin should be fully rested and ready to contribute out of the bullpen. He saw a decrease in velocity earlier this season due to a right shoulder issue, but he’s been closer to where he was last season over his last couple of starts.
Brusdar Graterol, RHP: Graterol had a tough start to the season, but the right-hander has settled into a high-leverage reliever role over the past few months. He’ll be a late-game option for manager Dave Roberts.
Kenley Jansen, RHP: If the Dodgers have a lead going into the ninth inning, it’ll likely be Jansen on the mound to attempt the save. The organization’s all-time saves leader finished with 38 this season, his most since 2018.
Joe Kelly, RHP: Kelly opened the season on the injured list after undergoing right shoulder surgery, but he has bounced back to become one of the team’s best relievers this season.
Corey Knebel, RHP: After battling injuries over the past few years, Knebel has made a successful return to the mound with the Dodgers.
Max Scherzer, RHP: Since joining the Dodgers, Scherzer is 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA. He will be making his 23rd postseason appearance of his career.
Blake Treinen, RHP: Treinen has been one of the most dominant relievers in baseball this season. While Jansen is the team’s closer, Roberts and the Dodgers will likely turn to Treinen to navigate through the toughest part of the Cardinals’ batting order.
Julio Urías, LHP: Urías will give the Dodgers another valuable lefty option out of the bullpen. After he excelled in a relief role last October, Urias was MLB’s only 20-win pitcher this season.
Alex Vesia, LHP: Since July 9, not many relievers have been as effective as Vesia. The left-hander has a 0.92 ERA in 31 appearances since returning to the club. If the Dodgers have a key situation against a lefty hitter, it’ll be Vesia on the mound.